Macron heads to Africa in order to confront the decline of French influence
The French President Emmanuel Macron begins a visit to Africa on Monday to try to block Russian efforts to remove France from the continent after Paris suffered a series of military and political setbacks in its former sphere of influence.
Macron will visit three African countries around the Congo Basin in addition to Angola, as the visit appears to focus on areas far from former French colonies in the volatile Sahel region, where anti-French sentiment is running high.
Macron is expected to outline his new policy towards Africa in a speech and press conference at the Elysee Palace before the start of the tour.
The tour comes just over a week after Burkina Faso expelled French forces, ending a military pact that allowed France to fight militants in the West African country, becoming the latest African country to refuse Paris’ help.
France withdrew its forces from Mali last year after the military council there began working with Russian military contractors, ending a decade of operations against Islamist rebels.
Russia’s private Wagner military group, has also been deployed in the Central African Republic, raising fears it could have repercussions in Paris at a time when Western countries are trying to pressure countries in southern Africa to take action against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Macron accused Russia of feeding anti-French propaganda in Africa to serve greedy ambitions.